Blue Jays should lock up Marco Estrada for next season

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 05: Marco Estrada
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 05: Marco Estrada /

Toronto Blue Jays hurler Marco Estrada looks to be finally turning the corner in his last four starts after a dismal season. The 34-year has surrendered only six runs in that stretch and once again looks like the Estrada of old.

Marco Estrada is set to become a free agent at season’s end after signing a two-year pact for $25 million at the conclusion of the 2015 campaign. Estrada has been very public about his desire to remain in Toronto and his love for the fans and the country.

If Estrada were to leave via free agency the Jays would have two vacancies in their rotation going into next season as Francisco Liriano was already shipped to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline. The trio of Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and J.A. Happ when healthy is one of the better top three’s in baseball.

Now insert the return of Estrada which you have to figure will be a very affordable contract due to his lack of production in 2017. A one-year deal in the neighborhood of $8-10 million with a mutual option for a second season.

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The Jays don’t have a ton of in-house options to fill two rotation spots, no doubt Joe Biagini will get a look for one and possibly Chris Rowley or Ryan Borucki who have both had nice seasons. They would conceivably need to acquire or sign two starters to compliment the likes of Biagini.

Estrada has a proven track record that includes the post season, he is familiar with the coaching staff and players and loves Canada. The guy takes accountability after a bad start and never shies away from the media. He appears to be a genuinely nice guy and someone you want in your clubhouse.

Prior to this season Estrada had earned run averages of 3.13 in 2015 and 3.48 in 2016 as well as 3 postseason wins where he only surrendered 10 runs in 41.2 innings of work between the ALDS and the ALCS.

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There is nobody more fun to watch when Estrada is on changing speeds and fooling hitters with his 87 mph heater. The Blue Jays need to give Estrada a mulligan on this season and bring him back next year to redeem himself.